How Students Are Spending Their Thanksgiving Break



Scarsdale students celebrate Thanksgiving and enjoy a much needed break from school.

Stephanie Liu, Jennifer Schwartz

Thanksgiving break is upon us, and thankfully so as it serves as a much anticipated escape from stressful school life. Whether celebrating with family, relaxing on the couch, or helping with food preparation, students are excited to celebrate their Thanksgiving holiday through a myriad of special ways.  

Almost every family that celebrates has its own traditions, including playing board games, watching football, and eating a big feast. Scarsdale families are no exception as each seeks to commemorate the holiday based on their own beliefs. For example, some families take more silly and enjoyable approaches. “We throw mashed potatoes at the door,” explained Kaya Sasaki ’25. A majority of Scarsdale residents also go over to their friends and families houses to eat a delicious feast consisting of cornbread, turkey, and cranberry sauce, while others prefer to host the day’s events in their own house. “We are going to my family friend’s place like we always do and we’re having a huge party,” remarked Arya Goyal ’25. “And we say one thing that we are thankful for before we go to their house,” she added. 

Generally, Thanksgiving is a holiday for spending time with friends and family over a feast of comfort foods. Creating a performance, giving gifts, and simply talking at the dinner table are great ways to reconnect with relatives. “I have a lot of cousins so when we get together we like to do some sort of big show for the whole family, but that was when we were little,” remarked Zephyr Connolly ’24. Most people try to steer clear of talking about more controversial and debatable topics, such as politics, but, of course, there’s always the occasional heated debate—however you may do it, it is important to renew relationships during this Thanksgiving and offer thanks to the people in your life.

Although SHS has rules that prevent teachers from assigning graded work during the break, some teachers have decided to schedule tests or quizzes for after the break. “I have an AT biology test after the break,” said Sora Oba ’22. Even so, it is important to take a couple of days off to relax, especially during the holiday season. “Especially because it’s right after the end of the first quarter which is very stressful with so many tests. It’s definitely important to take a break,” expressed Connolly. 

Food, of course, cannot be overlooked when talking about Thanksgiving. While many families resort to the typical ‘Thanksgiving foods’ like stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy, cranberry sauce, pies, and (of course) the turkey, each family also adds its own twist like their own cultural foods. “Normally it’s a turkey, but this year we’re doing a ham thing. It’s a Mexican type of ham dish, I think.” explained Inés Callenbach ’25. Families also often include a mixture of both traditional foods and their own specialties. “[We plan to have] ham, turkey, cupcakes, potatoes, and Indian food,” described Ilina Goyal ‘22. Some of the best places to buy the ingredients for your Thanksgiving meal are Trader Joes, where you can buy everything from the whipped cream for your pecan pie to the turkey itself, or Whole Foods, where you can buy pre-prepared foods like pumpkin soup and gravy. If you are looking to spice up this year’s Thanksgiving meal and go a little out of your comfort zone, you might want to check out this recipe for Brown Butter Scalloped Potatoes With Gruyere And Caramelized Onions instead of (or in addition to) mashed potatoes. For dessert, you could try adding a special touch to the traditional pumpkin pie by adding a bit of chocolate. You and your family will surely gobble it up!

Spending time with family members has become even more valuable, especially since many families haven’t been able to gather in a while. “Everyone’s going to be together, all my uncles, aunts, cousins, grandparents, for the first time in years because of COVID-19,” stated Connolly. Over the last two years, most people have celebrated holidays without their family due to the pandemic, causing this year’s Thanksgiving to be even more special. As the pandemic continues to subside, the hope is that more families can finally come together once again and celebrate lapsed traditions while taking the appropriate measures to ensure no one at your Thanksgiving gets sick. Some of these measures include accounting for how many people are in one place, the guests’ vaccination statuses, the amount of air circulation in the room, as well as masking when not eating food. 

Students have many ways of spending their Thanksgiving break, including taking some time to just relax or perhaps catching up on their favorite series. Whatever you are doing, don’t forget to appreciate your time with your family and be thankful for what you have.